Leviticus 19:31 ESV
Do not turn to mediums or wizards; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.
Today many people are dabbling and engaging in all sorts of occult practices such as divination, astrology, voodoo, witchcraft and the like.
In an attempt to search for answers to life’s challenges; or to search for riches; or to search for power; or even to search for vengeance, many people have sought the occult practices as a means by which to accomplish their goals and objectives in life.
However, the problem with performing and participating in occult practices is that
(a) Occult practices and participation are dangerous
(b) Occult practices and participation can be very subtle and deceptive
(c) Occult practices and participation is demonic and satanic and is a form of idolatry
(d) God strictly forbids all forms of occult practice
Those who practice the occult open themselves and their lives to demonic activity, demonic possession, and oppression.
Occult practices such as tarot cards, astrology, voodoo, contacting the dead, fortune telling, divination etc. are to be avoided by both the Christian and also the non-Christian.
What is Occult?
The word Occult is a Latin word which means “hidden, secret or mysterious”. Therefore one could define Occult as using secret, hidden supernatural knowledge and practices such as witchcraft, voodoo, divination etc which have been forbidden by God in order to achieve an objective.
Dictionary.com defines Occult as being “of or pertaining to magic, astrology or any system claiming use or knowledge of secret or supernatural powers or agencies”
Deuteronomy 18:10-13 NIV
Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. 13 You must be blameless before the Lord your God.
VARIOUS TYPES OF OCCULT PRACTICES
Below are the various definitions of occult practices as outlined in Deuteronomy 18:10-13.
1. Child sacrifice – This is a secret practice in various countries where witchcraft and all forms of satanism and sorcery is practiced. It involves the shedding of young and innocent blood.
2. Divination – this is the demonic contrast to the true Biblical definition of prophecy. Therefore while the gift of prophecy is a gift which originates from the Holy Spirit, the act or divination originates from the demonic and is a counterfeit ability to true Biblical prophecy. Divination is man’s attempt to know the future and discover hidden knowledge apart from God through using false prophets, dreams, astrology, fortune telling, consulting familiar spirits, reading omens and the like.
3. Sorcerer – a magician; a conjurer; a charmer; an enchanter; one who practices magic arts and sorcery. He charms, with an intent to do harm, to entertain, to gain money or to deceive or pervert the mind. A sorcerer is able to perform signs and wonders which appear miraculous but yet these signs and wonders originate from the demonic.
4. Interprets omens – This is an attempt to seek hidden knowledge and meaning through signs, stars, events, animals, objects and the like.
5. Witchcraft – this is a form of sorcery. Witchcraft involves the manipulation of things, situations or people in an ungodly manner. It can involve the use of magic arts, spells, or charms. In some cultures witchcraft is a religion or it is part of a religion. It also involves the use of formulas, chants, incantations to practice sorcery; Its goal is to produce extraordinary effects through the invocation or aid of demons; It attempts with the aid of the demonic to control things, events and people of whom one should have no natural control of.
6. Casting spells – The Hebrew word chabar literally means one who ties knots. It refers to a person who ties up or binds a person by means of magic spells, chants or words spoken against the particular person. It would include such things as voodoo and various forms of word cursing spoken to bind people or to hurt people.
7. Medium – This person can sometimes act as a mediator between the living and the dead. He is a necromancer; therefore he calls up the dead and the medium himself can be possessed by the supposedly dead and become a gateway by which the living speaks to the dead. They do not actually speak to the dead however, but it is familiar spirits or evil spirits that mimic the dead whom they speak to.
8. Spiritist – One who consults with familiar spirits; one who has hidden knowledge through demonic means.
9. Fortune Telling – a type of divination. An attempt to learn hidden knowledge, discover the future through such examples as palm reading, tarot cards, etc. It is also done through the spirit of divination and generally the goal of fortune telling is for monetary gain.
HOW TO BE FREE FROM OCCULT PRACTICES
The issue of how to be free from occult practices is another topic on its own which requires a lot of detail to explain. God-willing I will have an opportunity to write about it soon. However below is a brief summary of scripture that explains how we can become free from occult practices. Dabbling in the occult is a sin against God and God offers His forgiveness and we must be willing to truly repent and forsake occult practices in our lives.
(A) THE TEACHINGS AND THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD CAN SET YOU FREE. Do not believe the lie and the promise of occult doctrine and occult practices. Rather believe the truth of God’s promises which are found in His word. (John 8:31, 32 – So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”)
(B) JESUS WHO IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH & THE LIFE CAN SET YOU FREE. Jesus and His word are one. You cannot separate Jesus from His word. Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood for us so that we would not have to be slaves to sin or to occult practices. We must become followers of Christ who are willing to believe and obey His word and who are willing to yield to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. (John 8:34-36 – Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.)
(C) YOU MUST REPENT, FORSAKE AND REMOVE ALL FORMS OF ITEMS THAT BELONG TO THE OCCULT IN OUR LIVES. If we are to be free, we must repent, remove and destroy all things that pertain to the occult. We must never refer to them again or even refer to people and books that glorify occult practices. (Acts 19:19-20 – And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.)
If you know you have been involved in the occult, repent and become a genuine active follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. True deliverance is not found by your own effort or power, but it is found by the finished work of Christ Jesus on the cross and the blood He shed (Revelations 12:11 – And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.)